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Plans for 'Luas-lite' unveiled in capital's suburbs

A CONSORTIUM made up of parties from the public and private sectors has unveiled a plan for a unique transport system that it claims would revolutionise how people travel.

The plans were unveiled in south Co Dublin yesterday when Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council, RTE and businesses in Sandyford revealed their Blueline project -- a bus rapid transit vehicle (BRTV) that looks like a tram on wheels.

The promoters said it could be operational in just six years and allow 1,000 passengers an hour to travel along a 6.5km route.

Dubbed "Luas-lite" the system is commonly used throughout the US, the UK, South America and Europe but has never been road-tested here.


But Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown county manager Owen Keegan said it could be delivered for just €33m -- a fraction of the cost of light-rail -- and has asked the National Transport Authority (NTA) to include it as a priority project in its transport strategy for the Greater Dublin Area, which is currently being developed.

If approved, the system would run along a 6.5km route and link St Vincent's University Hospital on Nutley Lane with Sandyford Industrial Estate. It would also connect with the Luas and DART, and cost €33m to build.

The vehicles could run on natural gas, biogas or diesel. Each vehicle costs between €250,000 and €1m, depending on the model required, and can carry up to 150 passengers.

Irish Independent